This Louisiana Breast Cancer Survivor Shares Her Unique Journey to Motherhood
"I'm a big goal setter, list maker, and life planner, so it was as if everything went out the window," says Aly Taylor of the breast cancer diagnosis she received at age 24. "I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and quickly became the popular patient. Normally being popular isn't a bad thing, but at the cancer hospital, you do not want to be known by everybody. I was the young girl there with the aggressive type of breast cancer." After 16 rounds of chemotherapy, she was declared cancer free. But the treatment had taken its toll: Three years after her diagnosis, Aly was told she was infertile. "We were completely crushed," says the West Monroe, Louisiana, resident. "We had believed and prayed that we would be able to have a baby."Determined to be parents, she and her husband, Josh, made the decision to adopt. They brought home their first daughter, Genevieve, in March 2015. Feeling thankful for the new addition to their family, they didn't expect the news they received nine months later: Aly was pregnant. And just 11 days after their daughter Vera was born in August 2016, the couple adopted another daughter, Lydia, Genevieve's biological sister. For Aly, her girls are each a miracle: "The appreciation and gratefulness I feel when I look in their faces and realize the fight it took for them to be ours and for me to be here to be their mom…it's just overwhelming." Aly and Josh wrote about their experience in a book released in May 2019: Aly's Fight: Beating Cancer, Battling Infertility, Believing in Miracles. "One of the big lessons I've learned is vulnerability," says Taylor. "Before all of this, I really didn't like people to know about my life. I'd be uncomfortable if I knew that somebody knew I was struggling, so this has just ripped the Band-Aid off. Even when you feel weak, sharing something you've gone through is what makes you strong. Vulnerability builds vulnerability, and faith builds faith."